Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 25 Nov 2017 12am

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    Saturday, November 25, 2017-12:39:14A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Governor to decide on fate of CUC board Monday

GOVERNOR Ralph Torres said he will meet with the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board of directors this week to discuss utility issues, including the latest CUC procurement fiasco that triggered a public outcry and a legislative oversight hearing.

Ralph Torres
In an interview on Thursday, he said he will decide whether to fire or retain the board members.

“I will be meeting with them this week, probably today or tomorrow, and a decision will be made before Monday on the direction of CUC, on where CUC is going. I will make a decision based on not just the contract issue but also on the goals and an overall approach to where we are going.”

Torres added, “I want to make it clear that the reason we gave CUC over $15 million is for them to buy one engine — at least one engine but also to be transparent in getting [proposals] for the engine. That’s the agreement we made with the Legislature and it was also my word to the federal court…. I do not take these issues before me lightly, but before I make a decision, I will make sure that all the information before me is accurate and correct.”

The governor earlier said that he specifically instructed CUC to make a direct purchase using the appropriated funds in a manner that is transparent and reflective of their fiduciary duty to the corporation and to the community.

But Torres said it has become clear that the process was not made in the manner that was originally intended to address long-term energy capacity issues in a legally and responsible and ethical manner.

The CUC board wanted to purchase an $11 million power generator from General Pacific Services Marianas Inc. or GPSM whose officers, it was later revealed, have close ties with some CUC board members.

After being told by lawmakers not to move ahead with the deal, the CUC board canceled the request for quotations for the procurement of a diesel generator from GPSM.